U.S. Monsignor Arsenault Accused of Fraud, More

Msgr. Edward Arsenault, the former top lieutenant of ex-Bishop John McCormack of the New Hampshire diocese, is under investigation for an “inappropriate” adult relationship and for financial shenanigans. Arsenault is thought to have dipped into church funds, the Associated Press reports.

The leader of one of the nation’s top clergy treatment centers resigned Monday over allegations involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds in New Hampshire, where he previously served in numerous leadership positions with the Diocese of Manchester.


The diocese said Monday that it received allegations earlier this year regarding a potentially inappropriate relationship involving Arsenault. During its investigation, the diocese found evidence of improper financial transactions, and reported the matter to the attorney general’s office.

In his New Hampshire post, Arsenault was responsible for handling the clergy sexual abuse crisis and for the church’s new child protection policies. Since 2009, he has been the CEO and president of the Catholic Church’s St. Luke Institute in Maryland, a treatment center for clergy and laity.

St. Luke’s website is incredibly vague about the kinds of problems and afflictions the institution treats, appropriating the empty language of the recovery and twelve-steps industries with gusto.

We see each individual as a whole person, and take a holistic approach to healing that integrates his or her psychological, spiritual and physical wellness. Treatment is tailored to each client’s situation.

Our relationships with our clients and the diocese or religious congregation who entrusts their priest or religious to our care are important to us. Recognizing the importance of local support for those on the path to recovery, our staff seeks to keep leadership informed throughout treatment while also respecting client confidentiality.

On and on it goes, with a complete lack of specificity. The AP says that St. Luke’s

treats priests with a range of mental illnesses and has played a key role in addressing the problem of sexually abusive clergy.

If Arsenault is guilty of the equally vague (for now) allegations, it looks like the monsignor might move from St. Luke’s executive office to one of the patient wards — just as soon as he’s done serving his jail sentence.

[image via wikimedia]